Don't forget your Skype minutes

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Part of your annual Office 365 fee is for an hour of calls on Skype to many overseas destinations, sometimes including calls to mobile phones.

We’re reminded of this by a friend (no name, no shame) who boasted about paying a mere 2.5 cents a minute for a VOIP overseas call.  But he could have paid 0 cents per minute using his Office 365/Skype allowance!

Office 365 Personal and Home plans include 60 minutes of calls from Skype on your computer or device to phone numbers.  Of course, Skype calls between computers/devices are already free.

For some countries, you can call both landline and mobile numbers for no cost:
Canada, China, Guam, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Thailand, and United States.

A longer list of places have free calls to landline numbers only.  In these cases, mobile/wireless numbers have special prefixes.

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Croatia, Colombia (excl. Lex), Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia (Jakarta), Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Venezuela.

The 60 minutes of free calls are to standard numbers, including ‘toll-free’ or ‘free call’ numbers but not premium or ‘per minute’ numbers.

If you go over the 60 minutes, the per minute rates on Skype are very cheap. Calls to the USA are just 2.8 per minute (Peter is old enough to remember crackly overseas calls costing $2 a minute!).  If you call a certain country or areas regularly there are monthly plans.

Even if you don’t expect to make any overseas calls (or calls back home when you’re travelling) it’s worth setting up the link between your Office 365 and Skype accounts for when/if you’ll need it.

Tip: the free Skype allowance is very useful if you’re travelling and need to call back to your home country – to your bank or airline for example.  Use Skype to call and you won’t mind so much being left on hold for a few minutes.

The 60 minutes of calls is automatically used if you make applicable calls.


Each person linked to an Office 365 Home licence (there’s 5 users allowed) gets their own 60 minutes of free Skype calls.